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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Why Is a Damaged Thermocouple a Problem?

Furnaces are complex pieces of equipment, relying on a number of different components in order to do their jobs effectively. In towns like Puyallup, heating is of an especial concern since our winters can be so wet and cold. When an individual component gets damaged, it can throw the entire system off. You may have heard the term “thermocouple” mentioned in regards to certain kinds of heating repair. What is a thermocouple and why is a damaged thermocouple a problem? The answers can be found below.

The thermocouple is usually attached to the pilot light or ignition system. In some models, it may even be a part of the same component as the ignition. It measures the temperature of the burner and regulates the flow of gas into the heater. When the pilot light is on, the thermocouple reads it and releases the gas to start the heating process. When the pilot light is out, it detects that and prevents the gas from flowing: keeping your house from being flooded with unlit gas in the bargain. That makes it a vital safety feature, which also means that the furnace can’t really run without it.

In most cases, a damaged thermocouple simply shuts off the gas entirely before it can be replaced. In some ways, that’s not a problem at all, since it keeps gas out of your home and maintains basic safety standards. On the other hand, the heater won’t work as long as the thermocouple remains damaged, meaning that you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced before you can use your furnace again.

In such cases, a trained professional can help. Thermocouples are fairly easy to swap out if you have the right training, but they’re tricky components, and installing them improperly will keep the furnace from turning on. Heating repairs are conducted by the Puyallup heating repair service technicians at Sunset Air. We can explain why a damaged thermocouple is a problem, then make repairs with courtesy and care. Pick up the phone and give us a call today. You’ll be glad that you did!

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